All My Eggs in One Basket

<p>This is a place I should've joined ages ago, when I first began searching. Not now. </p>

<p>I'm in a bit of a situation. I applied ED to Champlain College, under the impression that I was poor enough and early enough to the applicant pool to receive decent financial aid grants and such. I was wrong. I did not qualify. At all. I got $2000 as a creative scholarship, which doesn't do anything since I've got about $42k of loans, both subsidized and unsubsidized, per year. The massive amounts of debt are not worth it, no matter how much I liked the school. </p>

<p>Stupidly, I didn't apply anywhere else. I could go on forever about how much I regret that. But it doesn't serve a purpose. I need to focus on what can be done. </p>

<p>My options are obviously very limited at this point. Here are the technical bits: </p>

<p>-I live in NYC.
-I attend an early college and have a college GPA of about 3.3, 3.4.
-Will have 60 Credits by the time I graduate.
-I'm interested in Game Art or Animation. Not programming or design. I do not want a degree in studio art, that doesn't pay much.
-The family EFC is $16k. (So we're at the awkward midpoint where no one will give us money, but we can't really afford much)
-I cannot go farther past the east coast, by decree of parental units. Would prefer to leave the city, though.
-My portfolio is average at best. (I've seen other applicants my age... I've got potential, but that's about it)
-I'm a strong writer, weak at math and science.
-SAT 1980 (R 660, M 590, W 730), ACT 28
-I have a hard time in larger schools and prefer smaller ones, though I'm willing to put up with it if a lot of students won't interfere with the studies (I'm pretty focused).
-Strong academic, but not necessarily interested in writing more essays for the next 4 years. I would prefer more professionally oriented programs. </p>

<p>At this point, Bard College is willing to take my application (I'm almost done with it) and I've got good chances of getting accepted, but all they have that would marginally interest me is a film studies course. </p>

<p>Emerson is closed off. I called today. Hampshire is a question-mark, but I may be able to get an app in there, too. </p>

<p>I sent in an application to SUNY FIT. </p>

<p>I'm considering Full Sail University in Florida. </p>

<p>I would consider SCAD and Pratt (RISD is full, I believe), but I know they're very expensive and I wouldn't get much money this late. </p>

<p>Is there anywhere else where I'd have a good shot? I would prefer not to take a gap year, I would rather transfer if necessary.</p>

<p>You should reconsider taking a gap year and figuring out exactly where you want to go and what you do there. Also, you need to sit down with a guidance counselor or private college counselor and consider your options. Jackuk</p>

<p>I've been in discussion with my counselors at school. They're pushing for me to apply now.</p>

<p>If you don't want a gap year, it sounds like your best bet is to go to any SUNY school you can get into at this point. If you live at home, you might be able to swing it for $16,000.</p>

<p>I admire your desire to move on rather than to hang around and have hissy fits. </p>

<p>Since your school counselors want you to apply now, do they have suggestions you can afford? </p>

<p>I agree with the idea of a gap year; it would give you a chance to do better research, and possibly the extra maturity would convince your parental units to let you look farther afield so you'd have more choices.</p>

<p>Other than that, does it have to be four years? If you have the college transfer credits, could you look into transferring somewhere?</p>

<p>Another possibility is a gap semester - find schools with spring admissions.</p>

<p>Since you're interested in Game Art or Animation, I'm GUESSING you'll have better luck finding a good major in a larger school, not the LACs you're looking at, but I know nothing about those fields.</p>

<p>I'm sorry I can't suggest many schools, but I wish you the best of luck.</p>

<p>Congratulations to you for calling a halt and not rushing blindly off to rack up huge debt.</p>

<p>My suggestion is do a SUNY or a gap year. I think a gap year would be a MUCH better idea, since applying as a freshman usually means MUCH better access to financial aid than applying as a transfer student.</p>

<p>What you should definitely avoid is racking up a lot of debt your freshman year just to go somewhere, anywhere.</p>

<p>Your GCs did a bad job in letting you apply ED to a school that gives "aid" that consists equally of grants and loans, and ducks the question of how much aid they give both in public information listings (that probably can't be mentioned here) and on their web site. They stress that students can get money from sources other than the college. I don't know anything about the place, but the fact is that schools without big endowments usually just don't have the money to give.</p>

<p>I <em>think</em>--not positive, it might be more computer graphics than art, per se, but check into it--that you might find what you are looking for at Northeastern, and if so their coop program would be great for getting you started on a career. In any case, a gap year would give you time to do some more research and to really work on beefing up your portfolio. If you've been in early college, presumably you have the time. Take advantage of it.</p>

<p>If you look at the NACAC list of schools that still have room and say they have FA, you'll find a number of schools of art and design, such as Savannah and Massachusetts. Don't know if they have what you want, but it may be worth a look.</p>

<p>I think you can safely discount the advice your GCs are giving you to apply now, or any advice they give. If they'd been doing their jobs, you might not be in this situation.</p>

<p>I wish you would re-consider a gap year. It's a re-set button. You get to start over, wiser and better next time. That is far, far better than racking up a bunch of debt or going someplace you're not crazy about just for the sake of going somewhere, anywhere.</p>

<p>Good advice from the other posters. I just want to point out that the loans you received from Champlain (for some inexplicable reason) are considered helping to meet need. There is a very small set of schools that will meet need without loans but they are very selective because everyone wants to go there.</p>

<p>I don't mind loans. They're a fact of US life. But the problem was forty-two thousand dollars' worth a year of them. That's over $150k. </p>

<p>We didn't know how Champlain's need system worked. I was the first from my school to have ever applied there, and it said they met a decent amount of need. The average package was $19,000. It sounded fine. I'm very prepared for supplements and the actual process of applying, thanks to my counselors. Their job wasn't to find schools for me, but to help me get into the schools I wanted. And they did that job perfectly. But, again, it is what it is. </p>

<p>Regarding transferring credits: Because what I want to do is so specific, the programs I would get involved in don't have a lot of the GenEd requirements others do, so my credits would not contribute to my degree in it, they would just be neat extra ones. </p>

<p>Northeastern's Game Design program would actually work because it does both programming and art, which is really nice. </p>

<p>I am applying to these schools, I guess, and if I don't feel satisfied with what I'm being offered, I'll take a gap year then. It just seems like a waste because I know what I want to do. It's not like I'm soul-searching, heheh.</p>

<p>Please don't rely too much on your high school guidance counselors. Based on your current situation, they either advised you badly or you chose to ignore their previous advice. Rushing now into some school that you really don't like that much is, frankly, not a smart idea. Isn't there anyone else objective and independent that you can get advice from, such as a relative, neighbor, who may be more switched on then your guidance counselors. Many HS guidance counselors are too overworked, have ulterior motives or have conflicts of interest. Jackuk</p>

<p>"Their job wasn't to find schools for me, but to help me get into the schools I wanted."</p>

<p>Sorry, just to add to my previous post. actually their job is to help you finalise your target school list. It sounds like your HS guidance department is weak.</p>

<p>Another poster mentioned the NACAC list. Here is the link for you. These colleges are still accepting students for next fall- take a look and see if any of them would work.</p>

<p>Space</a> Availability Survey Results 2011</p>

<p>Full Sail is a for-profit school. I wouldn't go there. The Northeastern program sounds good. We have good digital design art programs at our local community college so that can be a good choice to pick up enough art and design skills to get you a job. You could then transfer to a 4 year school and finish up part-time. You might not have that many extra credits to complete since you will have the credits from your current early college program.</p>

<p>Take a Gap Year, then start fresh with your applications.
You may find some other schools you had not thought of before.</p>

<p>Wouldn't a gap year look bad? </p>

<p>What's the difference between a for-profit school and something else? They're ALL leeching me for money... </p>

<p>"It sounds like your HS guidance department is weak." </p>

<p>They're more successful than I would be on my own, and in general are successful for almost all other students. The fact that I'm the only one in this situation in my school proves that. My school list was different until I decided to apply ED. The fact that I didn't apply elsewhere was my fault and not theirs. I didn't listen to their advice in the first place and that's what got me into this mess. </p>

<p>Thanks for the link, boiledegg.</p>

<p>Beware NE university is a very nice school but cost of attendance next year is projected at $54,000. Not sure they would meet your need without substantial loans as well.</p>

<p>A gap year will not look bad, as they are becoming more popular for US students. The more important aspect is that you utilize your time wisely during your gap year.</p>